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Dining Out At The Oak Tree, Leigh on Sea

PUBLISHED: 20:07 16 March 2015 | UPDATED: 20:07 16 March 2015

EXG APR 15 DINING OUT

EXG APR 15 DINING OUT

Archant

OFTEN when dining out with friends, at least one in the group is vegetarian or even vegan. I’m increasingly conscious that the veggie in the party gets the raw (no pun intended) deal, so this month I’ve found four restaurants which will keep both parties happy. The Oak Tree Vegetarian Bistro is easy to locate as it’s right on the Leigh Road as you drive through Leigh on Sea.

The food is prepared behind the deli counter in the centre of the bistro by two very hardworking staff. There’s also a small counter at the very front overlooking the street, with stools if you just want to enjoy a snack and a latte. The menu isn’t extensive, probably due to the kitchen space restrictions, but each dish sounded interesting. You might not expect to find bangers and mash on the menu but here you can, veggie sausages of course, served with a rich onion gravy.

I chose the Lebanese lasagne for my lunch, a dish made with hearty aubergines, chick peas and lentils in two layers of pasta sheets with a spicy tomato sauce and served with salad dressed with balsamic and two wedges of garlic ciabatta. If you’re an early riser you can visit for breakfast and there is a selection of salads and sandwiches available throughout the day, plus ‘small plates’ which can be used as a starter or a light snack including grilled halloumi on a bed of rocket with balsamic or grilled asparagus served with chilli, garlic and balsamic.

The desserts, which can also be enjoyed on their own with a cup of tea or coffee, looked deliciously homemade. I chose to finish with the apple, oat and pecan tart, which they kindly warmed for me, and served with vanilla ice cream all rounded off with a pot of decaf tea — delightful.

Useful to know

The total bill came to £12.50 for two courses and a decaf tea. This is an independent review, featuring a restaurant selected and experienced by our food and wine editor. The restaurant was not told it was being reviewed.

Table Talk with diners Lorraine Bullock and her friends Debbie Willis, Lisa Jackson and Kelsey Chatfield

What do you do? I work at the Harvester.

What did you choose from the menu? I had the gnocchi and then the apple and pecan tart for dessert. I have that for dessert every time I visit!

Why were you at Oak Tree Market Bistro? We all had the day off and Lisa is also a vegetarian. We dragged Kelsey there to try it and she loved it.

Describe your dining experience in one sentence: Really friendly staff, and the menu is gorgeous - I feel really comfortable in there.

How would you rate their value for money? Good. to be honest.

Worth visiting again? Oh yes, I’m a regular.

What was the best part of your visit? I can enjoy a glass of vegan Tremendus rose wine, as most places don’t offer vegan wines. It was also nice to go out with my mates.

Book a table

The Oak Tree Market

Vegetarian Bistro

75 Leigh Road

Leigh on Sea

SS9 1JN

01702 471435

www.oaktreebistro.co.uk

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